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Double-Topped Cranberry Apple Pie

Dessert, Recipes

Home baker Karri Perry has won ribbons at fairs throughout the state, including Best of Show at the 2019 Ohio State Fair for her blackberry pie. At the time we featured her in our November 2019 she’d amassed 122 first-place ribbons. That impressive haul is also the inspiration for the name of Perry’s blog, Blue Ribbon Kitchen, where she helps other home bakers try their hand at making her creations. “I create what I call a double-topped apple pie, because I put a crumb top and then the regular crust on top,” she says. “An apple pie can be fantastic just simple. But I think that crumb crust and then the actual pastry on top kind of elevates it, and it’s a surprise. People aren’t expecting it.” 

Double-Topped Cranberry Apple Pie
Recipe courtesy of Karri Perry, Blue Ribbon Kitchen Blog

Pie Dough
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter-flavored Crisco shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup ice cold water and 1/4 cup vodka, mixed 50/50

Egg wash
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon cream or whole milk

Crumb Topping
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of salt

2 to 3 medium Golden Delicious apples, peeled and sliced
2 to 3 medium Gala apples, peeled and sliced
1 Honey Crisp apple, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup fresh cranberries, rinsed and roughly chopped              
3 tablespoons arrowroot (available in baking aisle of most grocery stores and online)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter
Lemon water (2 cups cool water with 1 to 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice to keep apples from turning brown)

Making the Pie Dough
Using a food processor, pulse the pie dough ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, butter and shortening); add just enough liquid to the mixture to allow the dough to come together. If you have leftover water/vodka, discard the extra. (A pastry blender can also be used to make the dough by hand). Once made, divide dough into two equal parts. Tightly cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour, up to 2 days in the refrigerator. 

Making the Pie
Combine the crumb-topping ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Combine the pie filling dry ingredients (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, arrowroot and sugar) and set aside. Peel, core and slice apples approximately 1/4-inch thick. Cover with lemon water and set aside.

Roll out one of the chilled and rested pie dough rounds to 1/4-inch thick and place in an 8- or 9-inch pie plate. Trim edge, leaving about a 1/2-inch overhang and crimp edges. Place the prepared unbaked pie shell in refrigerator to chill.

Roll the second dough round 1/4-inch thick. Use decorative cutters or leaf-shaped 1- to 2-inch cookie cutters to make leaf shapes for the top crust. For an 8- to 9-inch pie, 35 to 45 small leaf shapes will be used to cover the top. Lay the dough cutouts onto a large (12 inch) dinner plate, brush with egg wash and set in freezer until ready to top the pie. (Not all of the egg wash will be used. Discard the extra.)

Drain the apples well and add the cranberries. Pour the prepared dry pie filling ingredients over the apples and cranberries and gently stir to coat. Fill the chilled, prepared pie shell with the apples and cranberries, filling the pie plate 1 to 2 inches above the rim of the pie plate, forming a slight dome with the apples and cranberries. Next, dot the filling with 2 tablespoons of butter.

Cover the apples with an even layer of the prepared crumb topping. Next, begin placing the pie dough leaf cutouts as desired, slightly overlapping one another. 

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Bake pie on the lowest oven rack for 60 minutes or until filling is bubbly and crust is golden brown. Allow pie to cool before serving. (During baking, check the pie after 30 minutes, covering the edges of the pie with foil or use a pie-crust shield to prevent crust from overbrowning.)

Baker’s Tip:
 “A Pie Drip Catcher from Chicago Metallic is a huge help in catching drips when baking pies. I would not bake a pie without one. Or, consider using a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil and place on the bottom rack.”